|The Middle East Youth Initiative (MEYI) is a partner initiative that was launched by the Wolfensohn Center for Development at the Brookings Institute and the Dubai School of Government in July 2006. The objective of the Initiative is to accelerate the international community's ability to better understand and respond to the changing needs of young people in the Middle East. By creating an international alliance of academics, policy makers, youth leaders and leading thinkers from the private sector and civil society, the Initiative aims to develop and promote a progressive agenda of youth inclusion.
The mission of the Initiative is to develop and implement a regional action plan for promoting the economic and social inclusion of young people in the Middle East.
Connecting Ideas with Action
The Initiative blends activities in an attempt to bridge the divide between thinkers and practitioners and utilizes robust research as a foundation for effective policy and programs. The Initiative has three complementary pillars:
1. Research and Policy: Pathways to Inclusion
With this initiative, cutting-edge research advances the understanding of economic and social issues affecting young people. The main target group is youth 15 to 29 years old, with a special focus on young men and women who live in urban areas and have secondary or post-secondary education. In addition to addressing needs of older youth, the Initiative will also focus on strategies for promoting development of youth 15 years and under in areas such as primary education, skills development and community participation.
The research framework focuses on youth making two major transitions to adulthood:
i) the transition from education to employment; and,
ii) the transition to household formation (marriage and family).
Research will concentrate on strategies to achieve inclusion in
- Quality education
- Quality employment
- Civic participation
Our goal is to examine the relationship between economic and social policies and generate new recommendations that promote inclusion.
2. Advocacy and Networking: Creating Vital Connections
The Initiative aspires to be a hub for knowledge and ideas, open to all stakeholders who can make change happen. Strong partnerships with policy makers, government officials, representatives from the private sector and civil society organizations, donors and the media will pioneer forms of dialogue that bridge the divide between ideas and action. By bringing in the voice and new perspectives of young people, the Initiative will revitalize debate on development in the Middle East.
3. Practical Action: Life-Changing Impact
Outcomes matter. With a focus on areas with the greatest potential for innovation and impact, the Initiative will mobilize partners for practical action that can improve young people’s lives. The Initiative will help develop policies and program interventions which provide youth with skills, expand opportunities for employment and facilitate access to credit, housing and civic participation.
For more information on the Middle East Youth Initiative, visit their Web site or contact Paul Dyer.
For more information on the Wolfensohn Center for Development, visit their Web site.